Penny Kakoliris is an Alabama Bright Light for Positive Maturity

Penny Kakoliris is an Alabama Bright Light for Positive Maturity
Penny Kakoliris has been in charge of Positive Maturity for the past 11 years. (Karim Shamsi-Basha / Alabama NewsCenter)

They say this is the age of the millennials.

But July 25 in Birmingham, it was all about people 50 and older. Positive Maturity honored the Top 50 Over 50 at The Club in a celebration attended by hundreds. Executive Director Penny Kakoliris handed out the awards.

“For this year’s Top 50 Over 50 we are honoring some incredible people like Gip Gipson, the famous Birmingham blues musician. Another musician we are honoring is Eric Essix,” Kakoliris said. “These amazing people come from all walks of life. They have done so much in the Birmingham community, and some are well-known; others are everyday folks.”

Positive Maturity is a nonprofit in Birmingham that is a United Way partner and a 501(c)(3) organization. Its mission is to enhance the lives of older adults through social services and civic engagement.

“We accomplish our mission through a variety of different programs, from working with volunteers to organizing our foster grandparent program and our senior employment program,” Kakoliris said.

Positive Maturity is a big plus for Birmingham folks over 50 from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Kakoliris used to work with adolescents and foster children. She has enjoyed switching to a more mature clientele.

“The wisdom and stories I have heard over the past 11 years have changed my life,” she said. “For me, it is a personal mission to make central Alabama a better place for people 50 and older.”

Kakoliris is invested in removing the negative perception that surrounds older people. She works to ensure they play a positive role in the Birmingham community, from creating jobs to entertainment to teaching the younger generation.

“I am doing this for several reasons,” she said. “One is because it benefits Positive Maturity. All of the money we earn tonight goes back to our program. In the long run, I do this also to take away the stigma about growing older. We want this generation, my generation, to get actively involved and to recognize the people who have impacted Birmingham.”

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